Pregnant in Aleppo: A Mom Shares Her Story
Pregnant in Aleppo: A Mom Shares Her Story
ALEPPO, Syria—During the past month in Aleppo, our emergency response teams have provided more than 250 mothers with diapers, clothes, and blankets, in addition to crucial health information to mothers and pregnant women.

One pregnant mother* who is receiving support talks about life in the besieged city. The woman, 40, lives with her husband and daughter at the SOS Interim Care Center in Aleppo, which was closed in April for security reasons but recently reopened to shelter displaced families.

*Name withheld to protect her safety

When did the war first start to affect your life?

Before 2011, I was living in southeast Aleppo. We left our house because of the conflict and lived in an eastern area for four years. We recently went through 10 days of shelling and my biggest concerns were my daughter and my baby. I was afraid of losing them. So a month ago we left the house because the situation turned extremely dangerous. I will never forget that moment: everyone was running in the street carrying their children.

At that time we ran to a public park where we used to go to play. We stayed under a tree in the park for three days. They were the longest days of my life.

After that we were invited to go to the SOS Children’s Villages Interim Care Center [in southwest Aleppo], which is the best thing that has happened to us during this very difficult time.

I’m really glad that my husband, daughter and I still have one another.

What are conditions like for pregnant women like you who have had to flee their homes?

Before the war, pregnant mothers were able to get the medical support they needed. They could go to the clinic on a monthly basis. Today, it is very hard and many people are scared to go to the hospitals as they are known to be targets.
 
An SOS doctor examines an infant child near Aleppo, where SOS is providing hot daily meals and medical care to women and mothers.

I suffered a lot during the delivery of my first child because several shells landed near the hospital during the birth. My husband had to get me out of the hospital immediately after our daughter was born. I am really afraid of living that moment again.

It must be exceptionally difficult to be pregnant at a time like this.

My biggest fear for now is being displaced again. I am living in the SOS Interim Care Center, but who knows if the situation will become difficult again or not. I will deliver my baby in the winter, and I am really scared of not being able to keep my children warm during the freezing winter nights.

I hope that the situation will become safe again before my baby is born. I wish that what we are living through now becomes just a story that I’ll tell him about when he grows up. I wish that he never sees or experiences what we are facing now.

As the violence in Aleppo intensifies, we’re increasing aid to children and families in need. For example, we are planning to provide aid to an additional 2,000 women—more than 150 of whom are single mothers—and around 1,200 babies. Other services will include daily hot meals, a safe childcare space and a mobile medical clinic.

We have 45 staff and 80 volunteers on the ground Aleppo, where we’ve been caring for children since 1998. But our brave colleagues in Syria need all the support they can get from people like you.


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Now in its its sixth year, the Syrian Civil War has left millions of children displaced from their homes, caught in the line of fire and trapped in poverty
 
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